Vegetable Thai red curry
For the sticky rice
- 250g/9oz glutinous (sticky) rice (available from Asian greengrocers)
For the Thai red curry paste
- 4 small red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 16 garlic cloves, peeled
- 12 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, core roughly chopped
- 8 long red chillies, stems removed
- 8 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (roots and leaves)
- 8 tsp chilli powder
- 10cm/4in piece fresh galangal, peeled
- 4 tsp grated lime zest
- 4 fresh lime leaves
- 4 tsp shrimp paste (available from Asian greengrocers)
- 12 tsp hot paprika
- 8 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 8 tbsp vegetable oil
For the veg Thai curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large leek, trimmed, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
- 1 large red chilli, trimmed, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (see above)
- 4 fresh lime leaves
- 2 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
- 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 400g/14oz coconut milk
- 250ml/9fl oz vegetable stock
- I small cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets
- ½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, flesh cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
- 175g/7oz snake or French beans, trimmed
- 1 x 225g/8½oz can bamboo shoots, drained
- bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- handful fresh beansprouts, to serve
For the sticky rice, before starting to make the curry, soak the sticky rice in cold water for at least 20 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
For the Thai red curry paste, blend all of the Thai red curry paste ingredients to a smooth paste in a food processor.
For the curry, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large wok over a high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the leek, garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
Add the two tablespoons of curry paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
Add the lime leaves, carrots and chopped tomatoes, then pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until simmering and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Add the cauliflower florets, butternut squash, French beans and bamboo shoots and continue to simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly and reduced in volume.
Meanwhile, to cook the sticky rice, drain the soaked rice and rinse thoroughly. Punch a few holes in a sheet of baking paper and line a metal or bamboo steamer with it. Add the drained rice to the steamer, cover tightly and suspend the steamer over a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes. (Do not allow the bottom of the steamer to touch the surface of the water.)
When the vegetables in the curry are tender and the sauce has thickened, stir in the chopped coriander.
To serve, spoon the sticky rice into bowls, ladle over the vegetable curry and garnish with a few beansprouts.
(This recipe makes more Thai red curry paste than you need for one meal. Spoon the remaining paste into a sterilised jar and seal tightly. It can be stored in the fridge for up to one month. Alternatively, spoon the paste into ice cube trays and freeze for up to three months.)